Throne of Eldraine (ELD) Draft/Sealed Resources
Hi, everyone, and welcome back to MTG Arena Zone!
With the recent release of Throne of Eldraine, and the addition of ELD draft on Arena, I thought I’d supply some links to good resources for players new to the format, as well as some information condensed from some of those resources.
Another thing to check out might be The Draftaholics Anonymous rankings for Pack 1 Pick 1 choices for Throne of Eldraine.
As well as The LR Community Review, with ranking based on hundreds of user-submitted Limited grades for every card in the set.
Limited Resources is a great resource for limited players in general. Their Throne of Eldraine Set Review: Commons and Uncommons and Throne of Eldraine Set Review: Rare and Mythic Rare contain in-depth card-by-card reviews and discussion from Marshall Sutcliffe and Luis Scott-Vargas.
Luis Scott-Vargas has a series of limited set reviews for each set, and these are an indispensable resource for card evaluation. I will provide links to the relevant reviews here, then add aggregated versions of some of the most salient information below.
Throne of Eldraine Limited Set Review: White
Throne of Eldraine Limited Set Review: Blue
Throne of Eldraine Limited Set Review: Black
Throne of Eldraine Limited Set Review: Red
Throne of Eldraine Limited Set Review: Green
Throne of Eldraine Limited Set Review: Gold Cards
Throne of Eldraine Limited Set Review: Artifacts and Lands
Here are some highlights/takeaways from the resources linked above:*. Another note: Cards that are better specifically in sealed or draft will show up twice marked with (SEALED) or (DRAFT) in the relevant position in the table.
Some notes on situational cards (marked by red asterisks* above) from LSV…
“If you have enough Knights, this becomes an effective combat trick. All you need for this to be good is to win one combat with it, after which it’s just free value. It is expensive to move around, so the Knight part is critical, as it won’t shine unless you get the first bite for free.” – LSV
“If you have few or no targets, this is a perfectly serviceable flier, and worth including in your deck. If you have a bunch of ways to make Food tokens, or other cheap artifacts, this becomes a potent threat and even an early pick.” – LSV
[c]Emry, Lurker of the Loch[/c]
“In a deck without artifacts, Emry is unplayable. In a deck with 3+, she becomes very strong, especially if those artifacts are creatures. Getting to repeatedly play creatures out of your graveyard is quite good, and she even fills your bin for other purposes, like Raise Dead effects.” – LSV
[c]Into the Story[/c]
“Drawing four cards for four mana is well above what you’d expect to get (unless you’re greedier than I am, which is unlikely), so where this lands depends on how good your deck is enabling it and when you want to cast it. In a dedicated mill deck, it’s a solid 3.5, and in a slow control deck it’s always playable, but it’s a little expensive in a normal midrange deck with no enablers. I like speculating on this early, as the effect is powerful enough to justify doing some work for it.” – LSV
[c]Mantle of Tides[/c]
“Mantle of Tides is a little too expensive to equip to be worth playing if you aren’t getting it for free most of the time, but it is good in a deck built to utilize it. If you have 4+ ways to draw extra cards, and a couple of those are at instant speed, this can be a potent threat and something that really annoys the opponent while making combat decisions.” – LSV
“This is most certainly going to be the most overdrafted card in the set. People love mill and people love low-impact one-drops, and this is both of those PLUS a shiny new mechanic. Still, it does actually have utility. It enables the cards that care about filling the opponent’s graveyard, it block early, and given enough of them, can actually deck the opponent. I think that fewer decks will want this than people think, but once you have 3+ good payoffs for the mill effect, it’s actually a desirable card.” – LSV
“Now this is the kind of control finisher I can actually get behind. In a deck that can realistically stall out the game (and run out the clock), this provides some extra mana early and a powerful draw/recursion engine late. That’s good enough for me, and I like the idea of playing this in my control decks that are trying to go big. It’s slow, but a mana rock for 3 isn’t the worst deal if you get upside, and the upside here is quite large.” – LSV
“In a deck with just a couple of artifacts/enchantments, this is a little overcosted, though it’s still big enough to have an impact. In a deck that reliably can trigger the ability, it’s great, and a card I’d be very happy playing. I’d look for 4+ cards that make this happen, with a bonus if they are cards that tend to stay in play (like [c]Charmed Sleep[/c] or [c]Trapped in the Tower[/c]).” – LSV
“This is similar to [c]Merfolk Secretkeeper[/c], though scrying for 2 is good even if you aren’t getting much from the mill plan. I have this as a marginal playable without combos (that’s not carte blanche to take this early – you know who you are), and a good addition to any mill deck.” – LSV
“In a normal 2-color deck, this is just about unplayable. In a mono-blue deck, it’s a solid beater. That gives you a pretty good idea of when you want this, and if you do end up in a 11-12 Island deck, this lands somewhere in between.” – LSV
“I actually like the look of this a lot in the artifact-matters style of decks. It comes down cheaply, gives you a small bonus, and when you no longer need an artifact in play you can cash it in for two cards. In a deck that gets no additional mileage out of this, I’d largely recommend against it, as it’s just a little too expensive to get full value.” – LSV
“If you have five or more Knights in your deck, Barrow Witches is a fantastic 5-drop. It’s a solid 2-for-1 and leaves a relevant body on the table, which is a great deal. If you don’t have enough Knights, well, this is not a playable card.” – LSV
“Bog Naughty is a tag too expensive to run unless it’s well-fed (I am similar in that regard). If you do have a couple ways of generating Food tokens, this is a potent threat, as it lets you indulge in the food fight you always wanted to have. Most effects that make Food do so as a bonus, so when this kills something, you almost always got card advantage of some kind.” – LSV
“This card really tickles my fancy, though it’s not the biggest payoff I’ve ever seen. Without Food, this is an ineffectual 1-drop, and not worth playing. With a lot of Food, this is a recurring chump blocker/sacrifice fodder, and it drains them out over time. That’s definitely good enough if you can make user of the 1/1 body, but not quite there if it’s just in a deck with a couple Food cards.” – LSV
“Eye Collector is the weakest sort of build-around card–it’s nearly unplayable unless you care about the milling, and a marginal playable once you do. I’d only play this in a dedicated mill deck or a deck full of graveyard synergies, but even then it’s just not that impactful.” – LSV
“If you reliably have a target for this, it comes across the table for a lot of damage. You will want to both be aggressive and have lots of Knights, so make sure those conditions are met.” – LSV
“This is the rare build-around that starts high and gets even higher if you put the work in. Granted, if you have literally zero ways to draw extra cards, this isn’t playable, but it’s decent with even one or two cantrips. Once you have 4+, it becomes a machine gun, and can ravage the opponent’s forces with ease. Plus, it even blocks well, which is a nice bonus.” – LSV
“If you can get this going, it will overwhelm the opponent in a tide of Rats. It’s a build-around worth working towards, and I’d be happy taking this early and trying to pick up a bunch of cantrips.” – LSV
[c]Torbran, Thane of the Red Fell[/c]
“In a heavy red deck, this is an excellent card. It acts as a 4/4 while buffing the rest of your team, and even makes your spells deal more damage. In a two-color deck, it’s harder to cast and does less, so the rating drops a bit.” – LSV
“Given that this is a 1/1 dork, you’ll want to draw two cards off it before calling it a win. That’s not too hard to accomplish, and if you take this early you can usually end up with the 6-7 adventures needed to make it a hit.” – LSV
[c]Trail of Crumbs[/c]
“This is a decent engine if you can generate enough Food, especially since you gain 3 life every time you go through the process. That can overwhelm the opponent in cards, and presumably the [c]Trail of Crumbs[/c] leads to more Food cards so you can keep going.” – LSV
“In a deck with plenty of support, this is a good flying threat. It really does need to be a 3/3 to really shine, so try and aim for 4-5 cards of each type if you want this to be awesome.” – LSV
“In a heavy adventure deck, this can go off quickly, and it’s a solid beast of burden even without too many enablers. That’s a fine place to be, and this will wander into my deck often.” – LSV
“I wonder what it’s like to be lucky? If you get this and 4+ adventures, you too can discover that, and it’s especially great with adventures that make tokens or kill creatures. This is a powerful build-around, and right now I’d be inclined to take it early.” – LSV
Hopefully this will be helpful to someone who is playing this format in limited and needs some sage wisdom from the pros. It was definitely helpful to me to put it together.
As always, feel free to send any questions, comments and criticisms to me here, on Reddit, on Twitter at @DailyArena or on Facebook via the @DailyArenaMTG page.